August 10, 2010

Coconut-Infused Couscous with Key West Shrimp

As Kate confessed, we don't share too many meals. Which is really a shame, considering we live less than a block apart.

But we didn't miss the opportunity to share the spoils when two free boxes of couscous arrived at my door. Yep, we took the bait from Near East to test drive their Around the World in 5 Minutes recipe site. I'd tried a rice pilaf or two from Near East before, but until this offer I had no idea their commitment to 100% all natural ingredients. Not to mention the fact that they have organic and whole grain lines.

Bonus: this recipe is fast, easy and healthy (depending on your ability to find light coconut milk). As a former brown rice devotee, I may be switching to couscous, which cooks in just FIVE minutes. For serious, FIVE. Compared to hour plus cooking times for brown rice, it's a miracle. And not too shabby in the nutrition department.  

We only made one little change to the recipe: subbing in some fresh Key West shrimp instead of the original called for prawns. These pink beauties are at least regional, and the closest source of shrimp I could find. And I finally got to use some of the jalapeños bursting out of our scorched urban garden. They must be taking their cues from this Atlanta summer, because they are hot hot hot.

So, considering that this post and recipe meet much of the Stuff White People Like criteria, let's get this Asian/Mediterranean fusion party started!

*Disclaimer: Kate and I were contacted and sent 2 boxes of Near East Plain Couscous for testing this recipe and tasting. We did not receive any compensation, and feel this is a great product and recipe to share with you.

Coconut-Infused Couscous with Shrimp
Adapted from Near East's Around the World in Five Minutes
Yields four generous servings

3/4 cup unsweetened, light coconut milk (shake can before opening)
1/2 cup low sodium, low fat chicken broth (or my new fav Better than Bouillon)
1 tablespoon green onion,  chopped
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
Pinch of  turmeric
1 package Near East Original Plain Couscous

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound of local shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 garlic cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ginger
1/2 bunch green onions
1 hot red or green pepper
2 tablespoons fresh basil,  (Thai, if available) or cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh mint
3/4 cup unsweetened, light coconut milk
1/4 cup low sodium, low fat chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1/2 of a lime)
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon sea salt (optional)
Black pepper, freshly ground
1 tablespoon cornstarch or potato starch
2 tablespoons cold water

1. Peel and clean the shrimp. Chop the green onions, garlic, ginger, basil, mint and hot pepper. Juice the lime. Having this prepped in advance will help ensure the sauté does not over cook.

2. In a sauce pot, bring coconut milk and 1/2 cup of broth to a boil. Simmer for a few seconds. Stir in the first chopped green onion, soy sauce, turmeric and couscous. Cover; remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes. Fluff couscous with fork lightly before serving.

3. While couscous is standing, heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté shrimp 1 minute. Add garlic, ginger, green onions, hot pepper, fresh herbs; sauté 1 minute, stirring often.

4. Add coconut milk, broth, lime juice, soy sauce, turmeric, sea salt and a few grinds of pepper; simmer 1 minute. It's ok if it looks a little dry.

5. Mix cornstarch with water; stir into sauce. Simmer 1 to 2 minutes, stirring often, until sauce is thickened and shrimp is cooked through.

Serve the sauté over the couscous.


The Frugal Hostess said...

I have a dorky question: does unsweetened coconut milk bring any sweetness to the dish? Or coconuttiness? All I can imagine is shrimp that tastes like an almond joy. Which would be food corruption. It looks awesome, so I guess I just need you to describe what it tastes like. Or if, like buttermilk in baked goods, it brings something chemical to the dish without necessarily affecting the flavor. Wow. Why did I write such a long comment?

Nic said...

Wow, comment of the year!

In response, there is no sweetness at all from the coconut milk. I mean, Almond Joys have a bucket load of sugar, so instead the coconut milk leans in the direction of savory. I think it is just there to add creaminess, so you could probably use cows milk instead?? Worth an exploration to avoid the slightly horrifying amount of saturated fat in coconut milk;)

EatDrinkShopLove said...

Great Recipe! I made it for dinner and will hopefully recap on my blog later this week.

Mahmudul Hasan said...

Wow!! looking delicious to me.I would definitely try this at my home.
Couscous recipes